There was neither non-existence nor existence then;
there was neither realm of space nor the sky which is
What stirred? Where? In whose protection?
Was there water, bottomlessly deep?
There was neither death nor immortality [then].
There was no [distinguishing] sign of night nor of day.
That One breathed, windless, by Its own impulse.
Other than that there was nothing beyond.
Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning;
with no [distinguishing] sign, all this was water.
The life force that was covered with emptiness,
That One arose through the power of heat.
Desire came upon That One in the beginning;
that was the first seed of mind.
Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom found
the bond of existence in non-existence.
Their cord was extended across.
Was there below? Was there above?
There were seed-placers; there were powers.
There was impulse beneath; there was giving-forth
Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of the
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this creation has arisen -
perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not -
the one who looks down [on it], in the highest heaven,
only he knows - or perhaps he does not know